Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hopewell Barn

hopewell barn, originally uploaded by el U Vee 1.
Kasso and Luv, barn painting in Hopewell, NJ. Thanks to Andrea and Tom for having us out, letting us bring our fams and letting 'em swim n hang. Good times, even in 105 degree heat!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pedagogue of Young Gods

About five years ago, KASSO and I collaborated on a small production to honor Saul Williams, a brilliant contemporary poet. We recently decided that it was time to do it again - bigger and better! In keeping with the intentions of the first mural to both honor Saul and get his message out to the people, we chose an excerpt from his song "Pedagogue of Young Gods" that resonated with us and, we hope, all those who see the wall, either in person in Trenton, NJ, or online: "An education is the only thing given that cannot be taken. Learn to think for yourself, analyze the forsaken." I painted these words into the colorful clouds from LUV1's sunset. (The sunset in the figure's chest is an allusion to a line from another one of Saul's pieces entitled "Seaweed".) But I'm getting ahead of myself.

As for the mural production process, I believe it was LUV1's idea for us to shake things up a little bit. Therefore, I was to do the portrait rather than LUV1 or KASSO, who usually do the figurative work. I selected a handful of photos from the Saul Williams Flickr pool and, with input from the crew, chose this picture by Riny, who graciously gave me permission to use it as a reference and supplied me with a beautiful high resolution file to work from. Since the whole mural is about Saul, I wanted his portrait in the center of the wall, high up to preserve the literal and metaphorical point of view of the audience looking up at him. KASSO did the wing on Saul's back in a continuation of his City of Angels project. LUV1 and AJA wove their intricate designs together to flow into and form the body of the poet. LANK really tied the wall together by forming the moon, sprinkling in the stars, and stenciling in the SAGE logo. As we completed the mural, Trenton-based poet Raul Cortes (POLO) contributed his reading of "Pedagogue of Young Gods" [check it out in the awesome video LUV1 put together] to our effort of honoring Saul and his words. Finally, Ricardo Barros generously photographed and assembled the composite image of the mural you see above.

On behalf of the S.A.G.E. Collective, I would like to thank Saul Williams for the poetry, music, example, and inspiration he gives us. I'd also like to thank Riny for the spectacular original photograph, POLO for the wonderful reading, and Ricardo for the beautiful picture of our wall.